On Sunday, February 28, at 2 p.m., nine of the Valley's top bartenders are scheduled to take the stage at DeSoto Central Market in downtown Phoenix for the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition. Now, after two weeks of online voting, we know who those nine bartenders will be.
The finalists for the competition include:
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- Dustin Bolin of Melinda's Alley
- Titus Fauntleroy of St. Francis
- Joshua James of The Clever Koi
- Michael Liberatore of Citizen Public House
- Tanner Lips of The Henry
- Rob Moore of The Windsor
- Jillian Newman of DeSoto Central Market
- Robert Porter of The Thirsty Camel at The Phoenician
- Zach Smith of Welcome Diner
These nine talents have qualified for the second round of the competition, which is part of the Devoured Culinary Classic week of events, during which three groups of three bartenders will make a cocktail featuring local ingredients and spirits from Arizona Distilling Company and 3 Amigos Tequila. These drinks will be judged by a panel, with the winning three bartenders moving on to the final round. In the last round of the competition, bartenders will be asked to make a drink using ingredients from a mystery basket as well as a spirit from Tucson's Three Wells Distilling Company.
Tickets to the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition cost $40 and include samples of each of the nine bartenders' cocktails, as well as entry to the live competition. They can be purchased on the Devoured Culinary Classic website.